Revival and Survival of Regional Towns at Australian Regional Development Conference

Helen-s.jpgDr Helen Norrie, Lecturer at the University of Tasmania will present “Revival and survival of regional towns: case studies in Tasmania” at the Australian Regional Development Conference next month in Albury.

Although less than 40% of the population of Australia live in cities of more than one million people, the critical mass of metropolitan centres ensures that the concerns of major cities are central to national policy development. There is a continual emphasis on strategies dealing particular issues that are the consequence of the size and scale of these settlements: housing affordability; transport; sustainable environments; and infrastructure. However, beyond these metropolitan centres, different issues are at stake.

Smaller cities and towns lack the density or intensity of population to provide diverse services and facilities that will retain or attract residents, but they do provide other opportunities that can act as catalysts for future development.

Tasmania is emblematic of a broader situation in regions across Australia; it has very low population within a very large area. With only four cities with more than 10,000 people, and many wider regions reaching barely this figure, there is a need to develop mechanisms to foster the development of infrastructure and industry, to promote environmental and economic stability, and to facilitate regional cooperation and community building.

The Regional Urban Studies Laboratory (RUSL) within the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Tasmania explores differing ways of understanding regional resilience, examining projects that focus on regional complementarities and cooperation, rather than regional competitiveness. Recent collaborative research projects carried out between RUSL and local municipal councils in Meander Valley and Glamorgan-Spring Bay offer alternative ways of understanding the future of these regions, and provide models for regional thinking that can be applied across Australia. These projects demonstrate the importance of regional strategic thinking which crosses municipal boundaries, evaluating the existing and historical conditions of settlements to speculate on new futures that address the revival and survival of small towns and regions.

Dr Helen Norrie is an academic in the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Tasmania, and founder of the Regional Urban Studies Laboratory (RUSL), a collaborative urban design research initiative that explores the opportunities for the future sustainable urban development, particularly in regional centres. RUSL uses academic, postgraduate and undergraduate design research investigations to explore a range of urban issues, focusing on the role of architecture in developing a relationship between urban design, development and planning.


ARDC

‘Regional Development – where to from here?’ will focus on issues surrounding the ECONOMY, PLANNING, ENVIRONMENT and COMMUNITY development. The aim is to advance economic and social outcomes and discuss the challenges, opportunities and future of Regional Australia.

The conference program is packed with an energizing mix of engaging keynote presenters, large-group panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking time.

Registration is still open, please visit the conference website for further information www.regionaldevelopment.org.au.

Country’s top ranking regional centres for family living

Top 100 Suburbs for Family LivingP1030452_tonemapped_edited-1

Armidale and Narrabri were recently announced as some the country’s top ranking regional centres for family living. Armidale ranked 13th and Narrabri 48th. The list and associated data were compiled for Aussie Home Loans by RP Data.

The Top 100 list ranks suburbs based on a range of factors including house prices, typical block size, average number of bedrooms, historical capital gains and a range of proximity attributes involving schools, health care facilities, child care centres and retail facilities.

The top 100 list for family oriented suburbs showed 39% of the list was comprised of towns located in New South Wales, followed by Victoria (32%) then Queensland (15%). Western Australia failed to show any suburbs within the top 100 list for regional family friendly areas.

See the full report.

The Innovation Awards 2014 Winner Profile – Environment and Sustainability

Samantha Smith, Future Proofing Geelong wins Environment and Sustainability Award category for the Regional Development Australia: The Innovation Awards 2014.

The awards aim to recognise and showcase outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations  in the following categories Economic Development, Planning and Building, Environment and Sustainability Award & Community.

Environment and Sustainability Award WINNER 

Ms Samantha Smith, Future Proofing Geelong
Project: Future Proofing Geelong Program

What the Judges said:
“An outstanding regional project based around best practice approaches with solid outcomes and strategic implementation of plans to achieve stated outcomes to address a real problem. Text book approach, however executed with such a level of attention to detail is not often found. Great work.”

Geelong was the first city in Australia to develop its own Low Carbon Growth Plan. It is also the first city to employ a collaborative Sustainability Covenant structure with other key local decision makers. Balancing the top down structure by also providing bottom up input keeps this approach to sustainability relevant to the community, both from industry, SME’s and environmental community groups.

Future Proofing Geelong has acted as a catalyst for many individuals, community members, businesses and industry to come together and actively work on making a sustainable future, environmentally, economically and socially, for Geelong. Many people were already working towards this goal with FPG aggregating these efforts to define and act collaboratively. FPG is supporting local businesses to adapt to a low carbon future and see cost savings in their business at the same time.

Future Proofing Geelong

The Award Presentation Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Regional Development Australia Conference Dinner on Wednesday, 15 October from 7:00pm at the Commercial Club Albury, tickets are available from the conference website.

Member Pricing Available for Australian Regional Development Conference

ARDC

Only 21 days until the City of Albury hosts the Australian Regional Development Conference.

This conference ‘Regional Development – where to from here?’ will on issues surrounding the ECONOMY, PLANNING, ENVIRONMENT and COMMUNITY development. The aim is to advance economic and social outcomes and discuss the challenges, opportunities and future of Regional Australia.

The conference program is packed with an energizing mix of engaging keynote presenters, large-group panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking time.

If you are a member of the following associations the Australian Regional Development Conference extends Special Member Pricing to you:

Register for ARDC

 

The Innovation Awards 2014 Winner Profile – Economic Development

Marcus Westbury, Renew Newcastle wins Economic Development category for the Regional Development Australia: The Innovation Awards 2014.

The awards aim to recognise and showcase outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations  in the following categories Economic Development, Planning and Building, Environment and Sustainability Award & Community.

Economic Development Award Winner

Proudly sponsored by The Regional Development

Mr Marcus Westbury, Renew Newcastle
Project: Renew Newcastle

What the Judges said:
“There was a high level of innovation demonstrated with sound planning, repeatable processes which were successful over a sustained period of time – great project!”

 

Renew Newcastle was established to turn a crisis into an opportunity. In 2008 Newcastle had more than 150 empty buildings in the two main streets and the situation had become self-perpetuating. Existing businesses were struggling to survive and new businesses had no confidence to invest in the area. Due to the global financial crisis ambitious plans for private development were on hold and government infrastructure changes were being delayed or unable to be implemented due to a range of reasons.

Renew Newcastle was designed from the beginning to tackle this problem with a new set of strategies and thinking. Renew Newcastle has operated from very small budgets and instead has worked to create unlikely partnerships, and new mechanisms that treat the symptoms of Newcastle’s structural decline — it’s very high commercial vacancy rates — as the opportunity for its renewal. In establishing Renew Newcastle, we developed new legal agreements, umbrella insurance schemes, social media based marketing and community building strategies. These framework agreements and templates have become models not just for Newcastle but for other communities across Australia and around the world.

DIY transforming a dying city from Marcus Westbury on Vimeo.

 

The Award Presentation Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Regional Development Australia Conference Dinner on Wednesday, 15 October from 7:00pm at the Commercial Club Albury, tickets are available from the conference website.